The sweet sounds of a God who sings
“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV)
The Israelites were God’s chosen people. Their design was to live and die in a covenant relationship with God, where they would be His people and He, in turn, would be their God. Their destiny was to be the nation by which the long-promised Messiah would come to save people from their sins.
Despite their chosen status, the Israelites would often neglect God’s commands. While God had chosen them, they did not always choose to follow Him. Their waywardness and rebellion led to division among their own people, painful exile, and captivity at the hands of their enemies.
God sent many prophets to the people of Israel, condemning their sin and predicting its consequences. Zephaniah was one such prophet who warned Israel (now Judah) of their hostile actions toward God. The Book of the Bible bearing Zephaniah’s name is filled with both warning and judgment.
Still, God is a God of love, who is faithful to His covenant promises. He continually seeks a relationship with people, even when they so often turn their backs on Him. One of the most beautiful statements in the Book of Zephaniah is found in its Third Chapter, Verse Seventeen, where we find the words, “…(God) will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV).
I believe that God’s words to Judah, through the Prophet Zephaniah, are words that apply to followers of Jesus to this day. Picture a mother softly singing over her infant child. These are not words of condemnation, nor are they words of judgment. Rather, these are words of love, compassion, and blessing.
The idea that God is singing over each of us elicits our responses of active obedience and passive surrender. When we fully understand that God is ultimately for us and not against us and that He loves us unconditionally, we are free to love God and one another through our actions. Yet, still, like that infant child, over whom the mother is singing words of blessing, we simply allow ourselves to rest in God’s grace as He holds us with nail-scarred hands closely to His heart.
I pray this day, that you would hear God’s song as He gently sings over you. For you are his child, and, by His grace, I am, too. May you be encouraged this day to trust Him all the more. He is the God who sings.